The Loo Review
Revolution, Parsonage Gardens, Manchester.

As somebody in their mid thirties, who doesn’t really enjoy a weekend night on the tiles anymore, I find myself asking “what can I reasonably expect from a toilet in a city centre bar on a Friday night?” The bar staff are stretched serving drinks and collecting glasses without trying to contend with the mess drunks leave in the toilet. Without a dedicated toilet attendant can we really hope for clean toilets past 9 o’clock? I just don’t know. I do know this toilet stank of poo, wasn’t flushing and was exceptionally messy.

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Even the bin looked like it was vomiting toilet roll.

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Otherwise the decor was good. This toilet merely lacked TLC.

SCORE - 4/10

Chaophraya, Manchester.

Never thought I’d find sinks to rival Albert’s, but oh my, these are good. They’re pretty and less clinical than Albert’s, I WANT THEM (or maybe just the one).

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The rest of the toilet was also excellent. Clean, stylish and there was a sofa to sit on whilst you queued. I would go back just for the toilets, but thankfully the food was top too. What’s not to love?

SCORE - 9/10

The White Swan, Hebden Bridge.

Cracked paint and holes in the decor. Freezing cold. The worst ever baby change facility - a saggy, dirty change mat kept on the floor by the bin. Horrendous.

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SCORE - 2/10

The Hinchliffe, Cragg Vale.

A clean and unremarkable toilet. The walls painted in Instant Whip pink - a common feature of many female toilets. This colour makes me feel quite ill at the best of times, let alone if I’d partaken of a few too many ales in this establishment.

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The best bit about this toilet was the lovely little rolled up face cloths for drying your hands on. So civilised and pretty, like a Habitat display. It took me a good while to choose my cloth so as not to ruin the photo I was about to take.

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A lovely little functional loo that pushed some creative boundaries in hand drying.

SCORE - 7/10

Albert’s Shed, Barlow Moor Road, West Didsbury, Manchester.

Could these toilets be the antithesis of The Temple of Convenience toilets or are they just pretentious? Are they taking the luxury of the toilet too far?

Check out these, they are more “designed” than I ever dreamt a sink could be and really rather lovely to photograph.

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The lighting above the sinks was equally flash and in keeping with the sinks.

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The toilets themselves were disappointingly understated, but clean, slick and in good working order, if a little dimly lit. However, the doors on each cubicle were solid and floor to ceiling, so you couldn’t be subjected to noise/smell pollution from other cubicles whilst attending your business.

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If these toilets were a celebrity they would be Kylie… just on the right side of over-the-top. They’re classy.

There is a small part of me that cringes to think a business would spend this much on a loo in the middle of a recession, but they cheered me up no end and were worth the long walk from the restaurant. It’s been a while since there’s been an excellent toilet on this review. Could only really be improved by hand cream.

A bog above the rest.

SCORE - 9/10

Tribeca Bar, Sackville Street, Manchester.

This is the first loo review I’ve done where my memory of the facilities is vague due to quantities of alcohol consumed prior to first visit. Understand this doesn’t mean I had memory block for the night, but even a loo reviewer sometimes has trouble remembering the details of every toilet they’ve attended.

However, one thing stands out in my mind… there were rainbows all round the toilet. Actual rainbows, not painted on, and arching poetically over the ceramic thrones in every cubicle.

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From what I can see here there was toilet paper, a good seat and it was clean, but you guys can see that too. Let’s look at the rainbows again. Ah…

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The sinks look clean and I do remember there was soap.

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Rainbows make me happy.

Score - 8/10

The Bay Horse, Northern Quarter, Manchester.

The Brickhouse (Whitworth St West, Manchester) had this poster decor first and they did it better. Maybe I’m biased, because I helped, but this didn’t have the same consideration for content that we had at the Brickhouse.

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 It was an assault to the eyes and due to it’s haphazard and unconsidered planning had encouraged a lot of graffiti… Lucky Nikita and Danny!!!

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It was clean, functioned, had toilet paper, but the seat didn’t fit well to the bowl and the attempt at interesting decor had gone a little pear-shaped.

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I wouldn’t shag Danny or Nikita here.

Score - 6/10

The Victoria, John Bright St, Birmingham, B1 1BN.

I have very little to say about these toilets. The pictures say it all really.

There was a funny combination of kitsch mirrors with rope lights… what is this look?  

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Most of all I was appalled and probably too sober to ignore the mess they were in. Toilet paper all over the floor, a loose seat and a general lack of hygiene.

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Grim.

SCORE - 2/10

Hall Green Stadium, Birmingham.

So, I was at Hall Green Stadium for a night of betting on the dogs. In these reviews we don’t normally make reference to any part of a venue other than its toilet, however in this case I feel it is vital. For those of you who have never been to the dogs and as a reminder to those who have… it’s really just a giant bookies with a bar and a race track, a little like a working mans club. So why on earth would you need baby changing facilities?! This is the last place I would bring a child. Can’t quite believe that only the second baby change facility I find since starting this is actually pointless.

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The hand dryer, despite being called “Air Force” was anything but forceful, it was in fact the antithesis. “Air Trickle” would have been more appropriate. The explanation for this may well be in evidence on the dryer itself. Look closely at the phone number of the manufacturer on the dryer. You will notice that the area code doesn’t start 01 like ALL area codes in the UK (except London) now do and have done since 16th April 1995. This dryer may well have been forceful at one time, but I suspect it just lacks technology.

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Otherwise the toilets were plentiful, clean, well stocked with paper, a sickly shade of Angel Delight pink and had coat hooks on the back of the doors.

SCORE - 6/10

Knott Bar, Deansgate, Manchester.

This is a toilet of extremes. On one hand it looks very slick and industrial, but when you take a closer look it is tatty around the edges. The toilet itself was clean, but incredibly cold… I shivered whilst I sat on it.

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When it came to disposing of my business I was impressed to discover there was a touch free flush in good working order.

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As I approached the sink I thought it looked in keeping until I got close enough to realise there were paint smudges all over the window behind it. The floor tiles were also a little hit and miss.

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If this toilet was warmer and tidied it’s decor it would score a lot higher.

Score - 5/10